Providing Kerberos Credentials when Starting CQL Shell

Set up a cqlshrc file to run cqlsh against a Kerberos-enabled cluster.

Example files

DataStax Enterprise provides cqlshrc.sample files and the following examples for adjusting their settings:

Make changes as appropriate for your environment.

To use Kerberos with SSL, see Kerberos and SSL.

The default location of the cqlshrc.sample file depends on the type of installation:

File locations
Filename Package installations Tarball installations













Kerberos example

DataStax Enterprise provides a sample cqlshrc.sample.kerberos file as a starting point.

Required settings for Kerberos authentication:

hostname =
port = 9042

service = dse ;; If not set, the default is dse
qops = auth ;; Optional, see the paragraph below

The [connection] hostname and [kerberos] service settings must either match the values in the dse.yaml configuration file or be set as environment variables.

  • In the kerberos_options section of the dse.yaml file, set service_principal. The service_principal setting must be consistent and present everywhere: in the dse.yaml file, in the keytab, and in the cqlshrc file (where service_principal is separated into <service>/<hostname>).

  • The environment variables (KRB_HOST, KRB_SERVICE, and KRB_PRINCIPAL) override the options that are set in dse.yaml.

    The environment variables KRB_SERVICE and QOPS override the options in the .cqlshrc file. The loading order for settings is: environment variable, .cqlshrc setting, default.

The default (auth) is used when qops is not specified. On the client side, the qops option is a comma-delimited list of the QOP values allowed by the client for the connection.

  • The client (cqlsh) value list must contain at least one of the QOP values that are specified on the server.

  • The client can have multiple QOP values, while the server can only have a single QOP value that is specified in the dse.yaml file.

SSL example

DataStax Enterprise provides a sample cqlshrc.sample.ssl file as a starting point.

username = fred
password = !!bang!!$

hostname =
port = 9042

certfile = ~/keys/cassandra.cert
validate = false ;; Optional, true by default. See the paragraph below.

[certfiles] ;; Optional section, overrides the default certfile in the [ssl] section. = /etc/dse/cassandra/conf/dsenode0.cer = /etc/dse/cassandra/conf/dsenode1.cer

When generating the certificate, be sure to set the CN to the hostname of the node.

When validate is enabled, you must create a Policy Enforcement Manager (pem) key which is used in the cqlshrc file. For example:

keytool -importkeystore -srckeystore .keystore -destkeystore <user>.p12 -deststoretype PKCS12
openssl pkcs12 -in <user>.p12 -out <user>.pem -nodes

This pem key is required because the host in the certificate is compared to the host of the machine to which it is connected. The SSL certificate must be provided either in the configuration file or as an environment variable. The environment variables (SSL_CERTFILE and SSL_VALIDATE) override any options set in this file.

Kerberos and SSL

For information about using Kerberos with SSL, see Connecting to SSL-enabled nodes using cqlsh.

The settings for using both Kerberos and SSL are a combination of the Kerberos and SSL sections in these examples.

The supported environmental variables are KRB_SERVICE, SSL_CERTFILE, and SSL_VALIDATE variables.

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